Peers

I just came home from a peer group.  It was a great experience, but it made me ask myself what a peer really is.  Everyone in this industry who succeeds is competitive and committed to excellence.  Excellence requires learning, which is at the core of the purpose of a peer group.  A peer is defined as “a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background and social status.”  By this definition, it seems impossible to truly be a peer. All of the people and the businesses in the peer group are different.  We build different types of projects for different types of clients.  We take different risks and have different business models.  We have different org structures and strengths and weaknesses.  But this is inherent and necessary to value in a “peer” group.  We complement each other and learn from each other and get better by spending time...

Read More >

Core values are Part of a Company’s DNA

At our recent client event at the Dante Next Door restaurant in Cleveland, I was surprised at how similar seemingly dissimilar businesses can be.  Dante, who looks like Bruce Springsteen, is one of the top-rated chefs in the world and deserves to be.  He regaled us with stories of movie stars (he was Robert De Niro’s personal chef for a time) and rock stars, and his travels around the world, which shows what a formerly young man from upstate New York can accomplish.  He has a burgeoning business in Cleveland, with multiple venues of different types, all of which are well regarded and successful. A little talent of course helps, but Dante worked really hard, focused on learning to be the best that he could be, and stayed humble through all of it.  It’s a lot like our business in those regards, and like for Dante, the opportunities and successes have...

Read More >

Cultural Differences

Recently, after declining a large project to a prospective client, he asked me if it was their difficult contract, or if it was culture. The contract was a problem, and he asked me to identify the issues because he thought we could resolve them. But in thinking about it overnight, the problem really was culture. We teach our project teams to work synergistically with our clients, ensuring the best results possible. Our people are expected to perform, no question about it. But we work in a cooperative manner in our clients' best interest. This client was accustomed to aggressive and almost abusive treatment of contractors, which is different than our norm. Whenever we run into this type of situation, it does not end well. Though we had reserved the staff to start this project, It was an easy decision. The success of the project for the client was at stake, as...

Read More >

How Core Values Help Senior Living Developers

Core Values is another concept coined by Jim Collins to be a key to a company being “Built to Last” as outlined in his book of that title.  The Douglas Company has 4 Core Values, as follows: ·         Great client relationships with high customer loyalty ·         Integrity and professionalism in all we do ·         Keeping our commitments through proactive attention to detail and execution ·         Growth of our Associates and Business through learning, teamwork, and leadership Great Client Relationships with High Customer Loyalty Why It’s A Core Value We genuinely like, appreciate, and value our clients.  They do so many great things in society and do so much for us.  They trust us with their important projects, and we need to be worthy of that trust.  Because of all this, we value the relationship with them and want them to continue doing business with us. What It Means For Our Clients For our clients, this means that all of...

Read More >

The Importance of Cultural Fit

The Douglas Company’s Core Purpose is “To contribute to the success of our Clients and Associates.”  To consistently achieve our Core Purpose, our Associates must be committed to consistently live our Core Values:  “Great client relationships with high customer loyalty” are accomplished through genuine care and concern for our clients.  “Integrity and professionalism in all we do” requires a high level of personal pride and willingness to do the right things the right way.  “Keeping our commitments through proactive attention to detail and execution” is achieved through perseverance and hard work to accomplish our goals.  “Growth of our Associates and Business through learning, teamwork, and leadership” is demonstrated through our genuine care and respect for each other. Our Associates do not live our Core Values because they are “directed to,” but rather because they are motivated from within.  It is in their DNA to focus on our Clients, to plan and execute well, and to take care of each other. ...

Read More >